#7 ASK KATARINA: What shape should we fold a napkin into? 🤔

#7 ASK KATARINA: What shape should we fold a napkin into? 🤔

''Is a way how a napkin is folded on a set table important or do different styles mean different things?''

Dear E.,
thank you for your interesting question!

The napkin is one of the first items we pay attention to when starting a dining experience. Right upon sitting down - even before the water or first course arrive, the napkin should be placed in the lap. 

For this activity to be successful, we need to make sure the napkin is easily accessible to the guest. According to etiquette, the napkin should be folded and placed to the left from the forks (to the left from the plate) or on the plate or charger.
there is no particular rule about the type of folding, but we should make sure it is not too complicated to unfold so our guests don’t need to battle with an ‘’origami-like’’ shape 🙂. As fun as it can be to fold napkins into swan figures, I would leave this activity for another time and use a more simple type of folding.

As I mentioned above, the napkin should be placed to the left from the forks or on the plate. A common mistake I keep seeing is to place forks on top of the napkin for a neater look. In such case, we would again expose our guests to an unnecessary battle of sliding the forks down from the napkin in order to access it. It might not seem like such a hassle if only one or two courses are expected, but imagine a formal table setting where there is an oyster fork, salad fork, dinner fork and a fish fork all laying on the napkin. If our guests should place the napkin in their lap as a first step, we shouldn’t block the napkin with anything in the first place.

I hope you will find my answer helpful!

Yours sincerely,

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